We are always delighted to celebrate the “Best of British” with a good tipple, now it seems that as well as ruling Britainnia, the Royals are jumping on the bandwagon and producing their own English fizz. With a massive trend growing for craft and niche brews, the Queen has begun bottling her own bubbly at Windsor Great Park Estate.
In 2011, the estate laid seven acres aside for the production of a refined vintage reserve from a mix of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier vines. Fewer than 2,000 bottles of the English Quality Sparkling Wine, made from grapes harvested in October 2013, were released with very little fanfare just before Christmas and were an instant hit selling out in a flash. Now, rumour has it that the 2014 vintage is due to be released this autumn and we, along with sommeliers and soaks alike are eagerly toasting already
The Chardonnay-based blend is said to have "delicate toasted brioche, apricot and citrus notes," and after the fast sales of the first batch, it can already be pre-ordered. It's likely there will be plenty more royal fizz to come in the future, too. Production is expected to rise to around 20,000 bottles a year within the next decade, which should help feed the nation's love of bubbles. In December last year, it was reported that home-produced premium fizz is now exported to 27 countries, with annual sales reaching £100m a year.
Sounds like the Queen is on to something.